Fresh pumpkin purée

Today wasn’t a great day. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it externally, aside from the fact that it was overcast and rainy. I’m just really fatigued and feeling depressed. I don’t have anything to be depressed about; it’s just a sneaky bastard that decides to strike without reason or provocation. It makes me think poorly about myself, especially when I look at myself in the mirror and see all the weight I’ve gained from medication and general uncontrolled eating of all the things. Then you start arguing with yourself in your head to try and avoid drowning in the negativity.
You’re ugly and not worthy of love.
Depression lies. Depression lies.
Hey, no I don’t.
Yes you do!
Shut up!
No, you shut up! Wait, why am I arguing with myself?
This is going to end up in the blog later, isn’t it?
Probably.

Unfortunately, when I feel this way, I’m not the best of moms. I have a tendency to ignore my kids and withdraw. Now able to recognize that I do this, I was able to make a concerted effort to take some moments to connect with Zoë: hugs, kisses, and I love yous here and there; reading a book; having a snuggle.

In the midst of this fog, I decided it was as good a time as any to finally roast our sugar pumpkins and make purée. Rachael picked one pumpkin from the pumpkin patch on her school field trip just for me. When she brought it home she told me she wanted me to make pumpkin pie with it. One of the parents who was on the trip with her later told me that she carried the little pumpkin all around the patch with her. She refused to put it down and get a new one at the end.
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I hadn’t intended to blog about the purée, but decided to go ahead and just do it because, why not?

1) Start with sugar pumpkins. I’ve been told that some people have used the large jack-o-lantern type pumpkins successfully, but I’ve also heard they can produce weird flavors and textures. My feeling is that the sugar pumpkins make plenty of purée, are less expensive, are easier to break down, are less messy, and won’t send you to the chiropractor with a thrown out back. Lop off the top with a sharp knife. If a straight blade isn’t working, a small serrated knife will sometimes do the trick.
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2) Cut the pumpkin in half, and then cut each half in half again.

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3) Remove pulp and seeds. I usually run my knife in between the pulp and flesh to loosen everything up. Sometimes it will just lift right out. If not, I take a pointed serving spoon and scrape out as much pulp as possible.
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4) Roast at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until fork tender. Allow flesh to cool to the touch, and then peel off the skin. Sometimes I run a small, short knife between the flesh and skin.
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5) Place pumpkin in your food processor bowl with the center removed from the lid to allow steam to escape. You’ll want to break up the flesh a little to help the processor out. Turn the processor on and see how well the processor is puréeing the flesh. If it’s running rough and not breaking up much, add a little bit of water down the chute. Be careful not to add too much water. You’ll end up with thin purée, which can throw things off in later recipes.
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If you’re not able to use the purée fairly soon, it freezes really well. I suggest placing 1 cup of purée in each freezer safe zip top bag. This will prevent you from having to worry about measuring later. Press the air out of the bag and squish the purée flat for freezing.

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One thought on “Fresh pumpkin purée

  1. Pingback: Pumpkin gingersnap ice cream | Julie, Unfiltered

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